We need to talk about Hawick

Without a doubt a highlight of the 2025 edition of London Edinburgh London is the new route through Scotland. The two loops between Brampton and Edinburgh include three spectacular climbs and thrilling descents through remote Scottish valleys. To make this possible we have a new control point in Hawick, a small town in the Tweed valley.

Our control point is as spectacular as the countryside around it. Hawick Town Hall was designed by James Campbell Walker in the Scottish baronial style. It was built by John and William Marshall in ashlar stone at a cost of £16,000 and was completed in 1886. An extensive programme of refurbishment works, which included the installation of a new gold coloured clock inside the building, was completed in October 2012. It is a Grade A listed building, a listing reserved for the finest buildings in Scotland.

However although the hall is beautiful, it is also really quite small. I will be honest with you, I would prefer we had a much larger space.

There are a couple of other factors that add pressure on to the control. Firstly, Hawick is around 640km along the route, making it an attractive point to get some sleep. However with probably only 100 beds in the control, it will fill up very soon. What’s more, the previous control at Brampton, another attractive stop, is also a relatively small control. And to add even more pressure, the road between Hawick and Moffat is probably the most exposed and remote of the route.

For months, we have been working with Scottish Borders Council and local organisations and businesses to work out how to make Hawick work. The LEL team also recently spent a few days in Hawick recently. We’re now confident that with a lot of planning of us, and a little planning from you, Hawick could be as much of a highlight as the hills around it.

Here is what we have done to squeeze as much space as possible out of Hawick.

Car Parks
Scottish Borders Council are kindly allowing us to hire two car parks, one behind the control and the other just around the corner. This will mean a short walk from the bike park to the control, which we will make as easy for you as we can. This may allow us to instal showers for you to use, but that will depend on the plumbing at the hall.

Squeeze in!
We think we can squeeze about 100 beds into the town hall, on the stage, between seats on the balcony, and tucked into various rooms in the hall. No doubt some of you will choose to find a quiet corner of your own to get some sleep too. This compares to Moffat, where we will have 350 beds laid out waiting. So, 100 is a good start, but it's not enough.

If we have a high demand for beds, we have also hired a nearby church, which has two large halls for our use. We think we have space for another 80 beds in the church, and you'll be able to get a basic breakfast there too. Our volunteers at Hawick Town Hall will be able to guide you there.

Pop up dormitories
Until recently, Scottish rural social life centred around the thousands of small village halls in towns, villages and even small settlements. This means that along the route, between Brampton and Moffat, we have found three additional halls that will be open as pop-up dormitories for the event. They are all quite handsome too. Let's have a look at them.

Newcastleton VIllage Hall

Located in the village of Newcastelton, halfway between Brampton and Moffat. This former church fronts a large hall, which you cannot see from the road. There will be space for up to 75 people to sleep here on a first-come-first-served basis. Nearby is the Olive Tree cafe, which will be open 24/7 during the event for hot meals, drinks and cakes.

Hermitage Hall

Our smallest pop-up dormitory, with just 30 beds. The hall is about 10km outside of Newscastleton, before you start the ascent and drop into Hawick soon after. There will be very limited refreshments available here, we advise you to stock up in Newcastleton first. Again, this will be first-come-first served.

Roberton Foreman Hall

Tucked away opposite a handome Methodist church, this equally handsome hall will fit up to 60 people in its two halls. Our roving teams of volunteers will be on hand to provide tea and toast to keep you going to Moffat. And if you get hungry before then, you'll soon be at the all-night cafe at St Mary's Loch.

You can find details of all the all-night cafes and pop-up dormitories here.

In conclusion

The price of using such a beautiful control, in such a incredible setting, means you will have to think carefully about your second night on the road. There will be a lot of options along the route, but you will need to flexible with your plans. If you want to sleep and there is a bed free, I suggest you take it immediately. If there isn't, try the next pop-up dormitory or control. Alternatively, you could aim to sleep tactically during the day at Alston or Brampton, or to press on to Moffat or even Edinburgh, both of which will have plenty of beds. 

All being well, this should be quite the adventure. When else on an international cycling event are you ever going to get the chance to sleep in a remote village hall on the muirs of Scotland?